Purchasing Game Totes for practice field

I have been seeking out costs for purchasing 1/2 of a field worth of totes for a common game practice field here in Seattle.

So far I have gotten a single quote from http://www.storageworksinc.com/

I asked for prices for the gray totes (the same ones as called out in FIRST documents)

For delivery in Seattle:

70 totes (1/2 field plus middle) $1792 plus $540 shipping
This is $25.60 per crate

There had no price break below 500 crates

A full field of totes is 130 totes… that would cost $3328 plus $848 shipping

(This does not include the six yellow totes or the Recycling Containers)

So the only thing saved in ordering the bigger number is about 1.20 per crate in shipping (6.52 per vs 7.71 per)

I know that AndyMark is selling crates @$19 each or 6 for $100 ($16.67 each)

Does anyone have any ideas about what to do to put crates on the practice field. I know that many of us have some but only the ones from last year are exactly the same.

Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated…

We are building the rest of the field and have budgeted for that as a team but this additional game piece cost is pretty high… We have the Recycling containers and tops on order… they come in around $50 for top and can.
Each team has a yellow tote so we should be able to have enough of those from participating teams…

What do you think the bare minimum number of crates a practice field should have to be used properly?

Because teams only received 1 each (which was nice) We really can’t expect teams to have 1/3 of a full set…

How many totes are your team purchasing out there?

My guess is that most teams would have six… at a minimum.
For three teams practicing that is only 18 out of the 70 on a field.

thanks for comments

We’re purchasing 18 crates and 2 containers. We’re only able to purchase this many because one of our sponsors agreed to purchase them for us on the condition that they could have them after the season ends. I wonder if you could find a company willing to make a similar deal?

I know that the KOP totes from 2011-2013 are a different model, but has anyone found what exactly the differences are? Different weight? Different size? How big are the differences? If they are minuscule, then I would recommend just using those for practice. However, I’m making that assumption.

Also, what about the KOP totes before 2011? What models were those?

The grey totes are slightly shorter (~1/8") shorter than previous KOP totes. The handles on the narrow sides of the grey tote are right at the lid, whereas on the 2011-2013 KOP totes the handles are dropped about an inch from the lid.

The rest of the differences are noticed by placing the two totes next to each other upside down and looking at the voids around the various plastic features around the top end of the bin:

The grey tote does not have voids under the plastic next to the handles. The older totes do.

The ribs extending down from the hinges on the grey totes are about a half inch shorter than the ribs on previous totes.

I haven’t looked closely at totes received before 2011, but I noticed the handles had different geometry and the trapezoid features next to the handles were larger than the new totes.

Of course, all of this would be easier to visualize with pictures. I didn’t take any when examining these totes last night. If no one beats me to it, I can take some tonight and post them.


I know for sure the narrow side lip and handle on the older model crates are different. We had one student prototyping on one and they didn’t realize it wasn’t the official game piece.

The dimensions are the same as far as I can tell, so using them for the upside down crates in the land fill would work for most matches. Have a team tell you before hand if they plan to go pull those out.

Eric!! Good to hear from you!!
Getting those pictures would be great for everyone.
Good luck this year!! (I am sure you remember our little Stack Attack robot…)

Here are some photos of my observations on the yellow and grey totes vs two older KOP totes. Depending on your strategy these differences may be minor. Most of these differences only affect teams using fingers in the underside of the rim around the bins.


KOP Totes.pdf (4.3 MB)

KOP Totes.pdf (4.3 MB)

Wow, I wish we had those shipping quotes.
Calculating fedex shipment of 9 crates was 813.00 for the cheapest method!
thank god USPS was cheaper at $190.00. Still more than the cost of the crates…:ahh:

andymark sells the totes for $20 per tote. http://www.andymark.com/FRC-2015-p/am-3053.htm
Shipping will be expensive though.

I’m going to suggest that you contact your local FedEx, UPS, USPS and various industrial and home improvement stores. They all use these exact totes to move material and you might persuade one of them to loan you totes for a weekend.

Also a good chance to hit them up for mentors. :slight_smile:

Across an ocean for 9 totes is $190, across a border for 9 totes is $160.

I asked the folks at AndyMark for a quote and they informed me that for larger crate orders they are offering a discount of %10 so for the $1200 of totes that I need I got $120 off… shipping is what it is… I am sure they will look for the best way.

We ended up with a quote for $1872.39 for 72 Gray Totes and 3 Yellow ones delivered to Seattle WA. Shipping for them was $727.39. This is the basic setup for a half field. (including the common totes on the center wall) with 2 spares.

We do a common practice field for the use of area teams so we want to have the real stuff. After all, this is what we fundraise for. Usually the game pieces are more limited…

After the season is over we will use a few and see if other teams/individuals want to purchase a few. We already have one team that is chipping in $250 for 10 totes. We will see if we can find a few more. Unfortunately many of the teams around here are having a tough enough time coming up with basic expenses. We are blessed on our team with a great group of parents, mentors and students who work very hard to help us fundraise. Our PTSA really helps us a great deal.

For us the cost is about $25 per tote. That is actually less than the quote we got earlier for just the totes with NO shipping.

Thank you so much AndyMark!!!

Good luck to everyone!!

This is excellent detective work Eric!
Thanks!!! I hadn’t realized that some totes were taller than others…

I wish I lived in Hawaii…or at least had your weather here…

At least the game pieces are in stock, in the quantities you/we are looking for.

Anyone remember the rush to Wal-mart to buy orbit balls? That was fun.

We found a place you can rent the totes, breaks down to be less than $1 week per tote. I started a new thread to bring attention to it.



Orbis (the manufacturer of the official version) has a Canadian outlet in Toronto. I got a quotation from them of $16.75 Cdn each for 100 totes but there are other price breaks. Pick up or ship (costs extra). Grey only. Several mentors are paying for some up front and then taking delivery from the team after the season so that the team has the use of them for the season. I suggest teams go together to place an order to cut down on price and paperwork. PM me for contact information.

Bob -

I’ve purchased a bunch of totes (20 ish), but could not justify more for our location - especially at the price… Perhaps we could arrange some joint practices as robots start to roll and pool resources? We travel well…

Also: I was a little surprised not to see the recycling bins on AndyMark… They should be easy enough to locate, but have you found a retailer in the Seattle area that carries the exact item?

For those planning to re-use the totes after the season, be aware that they will probably take quite a beating from the game.

Now, Beth… We are going to have a kinder, gentler robot. Our totes will be in better shape after the season than they are in now. I have plans to outfit every roller, belt and brush with a soft covering and our programmers will create a subroutine that involves spraying a bit of Armour All onto their sides as we run our intake system.